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How do you respond if one of your customers tells you they want to buy their own materials for a project?

It could be something you’re experiencing more of now, as the findings from our first Trade Trends report showed that nearly half (48%) of tradespeople are seeing homeowners wanting to buy at least some materials and supplies themselves – up from 40% in 2022.

However, only 5% of tradespeople are in favour of homeowners buying all the materials for their project. The majority (79%) of tradespeople said they prefer to buy their own and 16% said they wanted to buy at least some of the materials themselves.

Tradespeople respond to homeowners buying their own materials

Some of our customers and Build Aviator users explained to us what they think about this trend and how they approach such requests from customers.

Karl Nicholson, Founder of K Design and Build, said: “We won’t work on projects unless we’re able to source and buy the materials ourselves as we want to make sure that they’re the right specification and quality. Consumers who want to get their own materials are often very price conscious so will be looking for the cheapest way of carrying out their projects. However, this means that they can’t necessarily guarantee the quality.”

Simon White, Founder of White Space Construction, said: “On the whole, our customers still expect us to purchase materials as they know we’ll be able to get better prices than they can. In the few instances when customers want to buy their own products, I tell them that although we’ll guarantee the fit and installation, we can’t guarantee the products themselves because we’ve not sourced them.”

Other considerations to homeowners buying their own materials

The trend is likely to be driven by a few factors, including price fluctuations. However, availability, choice and quality all need to be considered too.

Commenting on the findings, Lisa Young, Commercial Director, Jewson, said: “It can be a divisive question – should homeowners bypass tradespeople to buy materials themselves? Some homeowners may want to see materials in person and have control of what they’re spending, and price fluctuations might also lead to them wanting to research the best costs. However, often homeowners don’t have access to the choice, quality and prices that tradespeople do. Some of our customers have also voiced frustrations that homeowners might not order materials and products that are as readily available, leading to delays on site.”

What do you think about homeowners wanting to buy their own materials? Head to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to let us know your thoughts.